After a Week Eight Bye that saw the Minnesota Vikings trade away their best defensive player in Yannick Ngakoue, and lose their second-best defensive player in Danielle Hunter to season ending surgery, the Vikings are in desperate need of a win. Not to mention, the Vikings will be playing Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, who are poised to be a heavy Super Bowl Contender once February rolls in.
The last time we saw the Vikings take the field in Week Six, they were absolutely demolished by an Atlanta Falcons team who hadn't won a game all season. A Falcons team that had one of the worse ranked defenses in the entire NFL and one of the most subpar offensives that the league had to offer. The only bright side to that game was Vikings Rookie Wide Receiver Justin Jefferson winning NFC Rookie of the Week with two touchdowns and 166 yards receiving.
Jefferson could see him having himself another huge game as the Packers have given up the 14th most points in the NFL, with 26.5 points per game. They also only have four takeaways on the year, which puts them at the 29th spot for turnovers on the year.
Luckily for the Packers, they have the potential MVP, and future Hall of Fame candidate Aaron Rodgers on the other side of the ball. Rodgers, who is the most dangerous player in the NFL when playing with a chip on his shoulder, ranks third in the NFL with 17 touchdowns on the year and leads the league with a QBR of 85.6. Most importantly, they are 5-1 in the NFC North, and have a perfect 2-0 record at Lambeau Field.
Simply put, the Vikings need to do what they do best, and keep the ball on the ground. Fortunately for the Vikings, they welcome back Dalvin Cook, who was sidelined with a groin injury, back to the starting lineup. This allows them to have a lethal one-two punch in the backfield with Cook and second year back Alexander Mattison. They currently rank in the top 10 of the NFL with five yards per carry and have rushed for eight touchdowns. The Packers have given up 4.6 yards a carry and seven touchdowns on the season, so expect to see Cook and Mattison have a combined 35-40 touches during this game.
Aaron Rodgers is coming off of a four touchdown, no interception and no sack performance against JJ Watt and the Houston Texans. Expect Rodgers to keep throwing the ball to Davante Adams. To stop the Packers, the Vikings must stop Aaron Rodgers, plain and simply.
The last time that these two teams faced off in Week 1, the Packers rolled over the Vikings 43-34. Rodgers threw for 364 and had four touchdowns through the air. Cook, in that game, only rushed for 50 yards on 12 carries, but did run it into the end zone on two occasions.
This week’s game kicks off at 12:00pm (GMT)/ 1:00pm (EST) and can be seen on national television on Fox. Kevin Burkhardt and Daryl Johnston will have the call. On the radio, Paul Allen and Pete Bercich will provide the sights and sounds on KFAN 100.3-FM and KTLK 1130-AM. Following this week, the Vikings will host the Detroit Lions in another NFC North showdown.